Making mutually beneficial business connections has never been so easy thanks to the choice of options available today. But what is the best type of networking for you? Whether you thrive being around lots of people or prefer more low-key relaxing surroundings, finding something that suits you is important to ensure you get the most out of an experience.

If you are shy: social media is a great option

Not everyone enjoys being in a room full of strangers, which is perfectly normal. While pushing yourself to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable is sometimes a great option, for instance getting out of the comfort zone, attending crowded networking events might not be worth your while – especially if all you want to do is cower awkwardly in the corner or spend an unhealthy amount of time hovering around the buffet.

Social media presents a vast array of opportunities to forge useful business connections from the comfort of your couch. Joining specialised business communities on Google Plus and researching business-related Twitter chats are some suggestions to consider, plus of course there are numerous LinkedIn groups available to join. If you are feeling particularly innovative, why not set up your own Twitter chat? Another idea is to attend smaller more specialised networking groups – maybe an intimate dinner with just a handful of local business people.

If you are a social butterfly: get your name and face out there

From business breakfasts and local luncheons to lavish parties and major conferences, there are many business opportunities nowadays for those who love meeting people face to face. In a way, nothing beats meeting somebody in the flesh, talking to them and maybe even sharing some jokes. This kind of interaction is much more likely to form a lasting impression that could lead to lucrative business dealings. Plus, these kinds of events provide a chance to get rid of that stack of business cards you have been harbouring for way too long.

Many of these networking dos are specialised – letting you select something worthwhile relating directly to your business niche. Besides meeting people there are often public speakers on hand to provide inspiration… oh and complimentary champagne and canapés as well if you are lucky!

Do you enjoy attending large networking events or do you prefer to use social media and go to smaller meet-ups? Comment on the post or tweet us @TheInsuranceOct to let us know.